The Water Resources department provides expertise and governance support to ensure adequate water quantity and quality for people and ecosystems.

The Water Resources department works to elevate the importance of water beyond the traditional water sector. Through programmes and partnerships, the department promotes governance that protects the quantity and quality of water sources and stimulates the responsible use of water bodies, including rivers, lakes, and aquifers.

The aim is to link policy and practice, and to directly address two fundamental global challenges: climate change and biodiversity collapse. The team brings together stakeholders, from subsistence users of water to multi-lateral organizations, for constructive dialogues and it supports partners in identifying gaps and developing and implementing policies, to help improve water governance on the ground.

The department also works to influence decision-makers by generating and sharing knowledge on global and emerging water challenges. The aim is to promote a shared understanding of development challenges and forge an action pathway toward coordinated governance across land, freshwater, coastal and marine environments.

The Water Resources department represents the forefront of applied knowledge on several issues related to the governance of water resources. The team has a long experience in in facilitating multistakeholder processes at all levels, as well as providing technical support to low- and middle-income countries.

The main expertise lies in enhancing and promoting issues related to water governance, and advancing governance knowledge, linking it to policy advice on global and international level. This is done in parallel with technical support and capacity development on national and local level.

Through the long running engagement with UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility, the department’s experts have contributed to conceptual innovation and the establishment of a well-defined niche for concepts such as water integrity, accountability for sustainability and source-to-sea.

The Water Resources department is engaged in research, knowledge exchange and facilitation of multistakeholder partnerships. The team develops solutions in response to global water challenges and provide demand-responsive governance support and capacity building to national and local partners. In many of these instances, water governance is explicitly considered as part of climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Through the UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility, the Water Resources department supports the water governance capacity of UNDP and its country offices, including contributing to the World Water Development Report.

As a leader in the source-to-sea approach and its applications, the team works to improve governance, finance, and operations for more coordinated and effective management responses between land, water, coast and sea. The department hosts the Secretariat for the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea, also called S2S Platform.

The Water Resources department researches groundwater governance, and water and nutrition linkages. Technical support is provided for the development of new water policies and updated water laws, and for the inclusion of water concerns in Nationally Determined Contributions.